Friday 15 July 2011

More on Stephen Sizer's Malaysian interview

Stephen Sizer’s eccentric understanding of the Bible raises a number of questions.

First: he was interviewed by a Malaysian reporter for a Malaysian paper. As Malaysia is a Muslim country, the reporter was presumably a Muslim and the vast majority of her readers would be Muslim. Why is Rev Sizer telling a Muslim country that the vast majority of Christians don’t understand their own holy book? Why is he telling Muslims that most Christians believe “absolute rubbish”? Sizer is undermining the credibility of Christians in the eyes of Muslims.

Second: Sizer doesn’t appear the least bit concerned about the “slightly provocative” nature of the article. In fact he appears pretty chuffed that his interviewer, who is more than likely a Muslim, writes with such evident alacrity and glee that an Oxford-educated Christian cleric thinks most of his co-religionists are a bunch of Charlies.

Third: Stephen says that being one of God’s chosen depends on “faith”. I note he isn’t more specific about what “faith” is or who the object of saving faith is. The implication is that Jews don’t have “faith”, which is why they are not the people of God. But Muslims do have “faith”. Could it be that the lady interviewer was so pleased with the Christian cleric’s answer because it affirmed her in her Islamic “faith”?

At a meeting in Dundee earlier this year, Stephen Sizer declared that he doesn’t get involved in politics; he is primarily an evangelist. He has told me that he has visited Iran, Lebanon and other Islamic states in order to be a witness. But telling a Muslim that “faith” identifies you as one of God’s people is irresponsible. “Faith” never saved anyone. What saves is faith in Jesus the Messiah as Saviour and Lord and Son of God. Muslims believe none of those things. If that was an attempt on Stephen’s part at being a witness to a Muslim lady, he needs to take a crash course in personal evangelism.

I suspect that if he had told the interviewer that the people of God are those who believe in the crucified Son of God, the interview would not have appeared in print.

Sizer says he can't help it if the media misrepresents him. But there is no suggestion on his blog that the article is anything other than accurate. In fact, Sizer appears quite pleased by the interview.

I am drawn to the conclusion that in spite of his pleas, Stephen Sizer went to Kuala Lumpur to bash Israel and to bash those who believe the Jewish people in some way remain the people of God.

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